Nobody Gets the Girl

Nobody Gets the Girl Nobody Gets the Girl by James Maxey

Read: January 2007

I’m a big comics fan.  Not the biggest, I’m sure, but I enjoy comic books.  And I mostly read superhero comics, my favorites being X-Men, Fables, The Ultimates, Powers and Supreme Power.  There are a number of novelizations of comics or comic-based movies, none of which I’ve read.  However, there are also a couple of stand-alone novels based upon the comic book conventions that I’ve found and really liked.  The first was Superfolks by Robert Mayer.  It was really good.  It was about a superhero that is going through a midlife crisis.

The second is Nobody Gets the Girl by James Maxey.  In some ways, this is a very conventional superhero story, including an origin story for the hero, the typical battles, and the weird pseudoscientific explanations for things.  But, it gets a lot darker than most superhero tales.  There are probably no real “good guys” and the bad guys, of course, don’t see themselves that way.  In their own mind, they are freedom fighters, fighting against the supreme “good guy”, who wants to create a utopia at the cost of personal freedom.

The hero, Richard Rogers, is a regular guy who is going through a bit of a crisis.  But, he wakes up one day and his whole existence is gone.  The world he knew, the people he knew — including his wife — no longer exist.  Or, better said, they exist, but have no knowledge that Richard ever existed.  Soon, he learns the reason for his predicament, which has to do with a scientist traveling in time and preventing Richard’s conception.  He joins the scientist’s super-team, comprised of his two daughters, and tries to help the scientist — nicknamed Dr. Know by his daughter — implement his utopia while protecting him from his arch-enemy.

The story is well written, fast paced, and while using some of the unrealistic pseudoscience that comics always use to explain things, the world that Maxey sets up to explain the existence of super powers and such is novel.  It relies a bit too much on quantum physics, which all of these things seem to these days, but it does so in a unique way.

Furthermore, Maxey places his story in the “real” world, with the political problems that we face in our own world.  When super-powered terrorists attack cities, many, many, many people die, as you would expect if such things could really happen. It’s not like the Marvel or DC battles in which cities are destroyed, but it seems that no one really dies.  In that sense, the story is a bit more realistic (in the vein, in some ways, of The Authority).  The characters are compelling and interesting.  Their powers are also interesting and well utilized; one daughter has Magneto-like powers but uses them in a completely novel way compared to Magneto.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes the comic book/superhero genre.  It is an intelligent take on the genre, with enough unique twists and turns to keep the reader engaged.  And it is a relatively quick read too.  Not like a comic book, but still pretty fast.

Indy wins!

Colts Logo Well, the Colts won the Super Bowl! Finally, a team I root for wins something. I’ve had poor luck with my favorite NFL team, the Vikings, and the other sports teams I like (the Marineres and the Sonics, though if they move to Oklahoma, I will have to find a new NBA team).

The game, as befit the weather conditions, was sloppy. A lot of turn overs by both teams. Manning wasn’t spectacular, but got enough done to win. On our fantasy football site, we’ve been talking about if he deserved the MVP. I personally felt others deserved it as much as he did (the Colts’ RBs, Addai and Rhodes, or the defense, or even Grossman 😉 ) but I am not upset with Manning winning it. The whole offense goes through him and, more than most teams, he calls the plays. He adjusts to the defense. So, that the Colts ran against the Bears more than they did against other teams is as much Manning’s doing as anyone’s, it would seem to me.

The most impressive thing to me is how the defense stepped up in the playoffs. They were horrid during the regular season, especially against the run, but they became a very different team in the playoffs, shutting down some pretty damn good RBs, especially my rookie keeper Larry Johnson.

I’ll admit that I’m so up on Manning because he is my keeper QB. So, I’m happy that he won the big one, maybe get some of those critics off his back. Maybe this is his Jordan moment, and he will dominate for a few years, winning a few SBs. But, it will take another one or two to get some critics off his back.

Grossman played as bad as many thought he might. I wondered if at some point they might pull him. I don’t know if that has ever happened in a SB, but he deserved to get pulled. If the Bears had a semi-decent QB, I think they could have won. I’m guessing Griese and Orton were sitting on the bench thinking they could have done better.

While not the best SB I’ve seen, I was at least happy with the result. Congrats to the Colts! Maybe next year the Vikes can do something.

Why not conservation?

In his State of the Union speech, Bush said he wanted us all to cut our gas consumption by 20% by the year 2010.  He proposed more fuel efficient cars and more ethanol as the means to get there.

I don’t understand why conservation wasn’t part of it.  If only 1 in every 5 people who commute to work carpooled, then that right there is a big part of the 20%.  When I drive to work, and I am waiting for a turn to drop off one of the guys in my carpool, maybe 20 to 30 cars drive past me on their way to work.  I’d be damn surprised if one of those cars has more than one person in them, and most are huge SUV type things.  I understand that in many places, people are coming from many different outlying suburbs to get to work.  But here, at least, most of these people are neighbors, coming from very close by developments.  It would add at most 10 minutes for them to pick up someone.

Or, people could plan their week better and make one less trip to the grocery store.  I mean, it wouldn’t be that hard to conserve gas.  It might not add up to 20%, but it would get us damn close.

Ethanol has a lot of problems.  It is not very environmentally friendly.  Beyond the green house gases that burning it causes, the mere fact that it requires fertilization means that the nitrogen cycle gets impacted to a very large degree.  That has a lot of consequences for the environment.

The only real long term solution to solve these problems (environmental concerns and dependence on foreign fuel supplies), it seems to me, is to start just using less of the damn stuff.  Stop putting so much pollutant in the air.  And one real way to start doing that is to conserve.  To carpool.  To plan our days better.  That will help a hell of a lot more than ethanol.

Rooting for Indy in the Super Bowl!

I got one of my two wishes for the conference championships. I was hoping for New Orleans to win, but they couldn’t get it done. It’s nice for my friend Bob, as Chicago is his favorite team. But, at least Indy got past New England, in dramatic style, and that’s who I’ll be rooting for in the Super Bowl this year. Manning is my franchise quarterback in fantasy football, the star of team Blasphemy. So, I gotta root for him.

Blah, blah, blah… I've got the blahs.

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